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Lessig, Stallman in New Documentary 110

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-only-if-you're-in-nyc dept.
Alternative Freedom is a documentary on intellectual property rights featuring lots of interviews with folks like Stallman and Lessig, as well as people like DJ Danger Mouse (creator of the Grey Album). They have a trailer available, but if you're in NYC the movie is now showing. If anyone manages to go, I'd love to see some real reviews of it.
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Lessig, Stallman in New Documentary

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  • Quicktime? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @02:38PM (#15214707) Homepage Journal
    From TFL
    Viewing the trailer requires Quicktime. If your browser does not support embedded files you can dowload the .mov directly here.
    Whoa! RMS is going to crack it! [zmag.org]
    It falls to me to tell them they are doing so, that they with their own actions are giving certain large companies more power. When you send someone a ".doc' file, a "Word' file, or an audio or video file in RealPlayer or Quicktime format, you are actually pressuring someone to give up their freedom. Perhaps because I constantly have to bring this up, people believe I don't have a sense of proportion.

    Sometimes people take for granted that I will participate in those activities with them. Thus, when I webcast a speech, I have to ask which format it is going to be webcast in. I am not going to go along with a webcast of my speech about freedom that you have to give up your freedom in order to hear or watch. Once I put my coat over a camera before giving my speech, when I learned it was webcasting in RealPlayer format. [emph mine]
    Note - I am not making fun of RMS here - I greatly admire his principals even if I am too lazy to always follow them myself.

    Oh - and anyone interested in hearing the grey album mentioned in the /. summary, a torrent. [mininova.org] It is an amazing album.
    • by EccentricAnomaly (451326) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @02:42PM (#15214749) Homepage
      If anyone manages to go, I'd love to see some real reviews of it.

      bring in a cam-corder too while your at it :)
    • Re:Quicktime? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Odocoileus (802272)
      I am interested in seeing the movie. I do not live in NY, nor did I see any mention of a way to obtain a copy. Does anyone know when private copies will be available?
    • Oh - and anyone interested in hearing the grey album mentioned in the /. summary, a torrent. It is an amazing album.

      That, sir, is a matter of opinion. While I appreciate the work involved and the samples were interesting, Jay Z is devoid of any talent at all. I once read "Jay Z never writes down his lyrics". Translation - "he makes crap up on the spot". It sounds like it. Here is a Jay Z-type rap lyric of my own:

      Don't do the crime
      If you can't do the time
      Gotta get a lime
      At the 5 and dime

      Listen to The
      • I gotta tell you, objectively, Jay Z has you beat big time. The objective part comes in due to the fact that your lines have no consistent meter, which is an important part of rhyming.
      • I know I already replied, but you struck a chord (ha!) and I have more to say about this:

        Just because you don't have the necessary tools to appreciate something, that doesn't mean it can't be appreciated by others who understand what makes it good.
    • Heh, yeah I thought that was a bit ironic all right that the trailer was in QuickTime format and not OGM. I wonder if they'll put their money where their mouth is and release the film on the internet for free
    • >I am not making fun of RMS here - I greatly admire his principals
      Why?

      Seriously, he's not Ghandi. He just doesn't *pay for software* That doesn't exactly make him a saint.

      I like open source too, but these are not the grand principles he makes them out to be. It's just a way of distributing *computer software*, which isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. Computers in general are not a major source of tyranny in the world.

      I admire the EFF because they are trying to fix some broken laws. To th
      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @03:24PM (#15215111) Homepage Journal
        Seriously, he's not Ghandi. He just doesn't *pay for software* That doesn't exactly make him a saint.
        Perhaps if you understood his principles, you might understand why other people admire them. RMS is perfectly happy to pay for software, he just wants the freedom to be able to change and redistribute that software to anyone who needs it and his changes to it.

        It's about being able to help one's fellow man, and about avoiding software that prevents that. That's something to be admired, especially when you consider how impractical what RMS was demanding was when he created the GPL.

        • If the GPL was about 100% freedom and choice, it would be called the BSD license.

          The GPL (especially the latest draft) has less to do with freedom than it does promoting RMS' (and by proxy the FSF) personal ideology.
        • >That's something to be admired, especially when you consider how impractical what RMS was
          >demanding was when he created the GPL.

          Just because someone is an "idealist" doesn't mean they deserve praise automatically. Sometimes people's ideal worlds are a horrible place to live. Communism is generally considered to be one of those ideals...

          I *do* understand Stallman's ideas, it is you who do not. You are confusing his "ideals" with the general will of the open source community. Stallman tends to favor th
      • Thank god, someone HAD to say it eventually...
      • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @03:28PM (#15215153) Homepage Journal
        Seriously, he's not Ghandi. He just doesn't *pay for software* That doesn't exactly make him a saint.

        He pays for software with his time. He created GCC - without it the vast majority of software you use would not be possible.

        I like open source too, but these are not the grand principles he makes them out to be. It's just a way of distributing *computer software*, which isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. Computers in general are not a major source of tyranny in the world.

        1) Stallman has got nothing to do with Open Source.

        2) Computer software is the aspect of life where Stallman feels he can make a difference. And he does - rather then bitching about other achievements.

        but by refusing to use *any* software that is commercial, you aren't helping anyone. Certainly not developers.

        Here you display a complete lack of understanding for Stallman's beliefs. He isn't trying to help developers. He's trying to help users.

        In short your post is an ill-informed troll. There are better anti-rms trolls out there. Please read up on them before posting here again.
        • WTF? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by C10H14N2 (640033)
          Stallman has nothing to do with Open Source? Fine, he has a major semantic hair up his butt about the term "Open Source," but the whole idea of "Free Software" is his raison entière d'etre. Methinks this is why some people roll their eyes. Okay, we "get it." Now can we stop splitting hairs over it, puhhhleeaase without devloving into some asininely pedantic semiotic circle-jerk?
          • Richard Stallman believes in Free software, which is an ideology (though possible through the GPL). Open Source was founded by people, which weren't ideologist, like Eric S. Raymond, which likes the BSD-license a lot more.

            Also, saying people shouldn't care about the difference, is the same as saying people shouldn't care about the difference in Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Rights (okay, I overreacted there ;)
          • "Now can we stop splitting hairs over it, puhhhleeaase without devloving into some asininely pedantic semiotic circle-jerk?"

            No.

        • Stallman's beliefs. He isn't trying to help developers. He's trying to help users.

          Even those that don't have a password or have ID to get into the building.

          He's had some brilliant ideas but we don't have to follow him on every issue - and to the newbies out there, neither he nor the gnu team wrote linux. The LiGnuX name and the later gnu/linux name were efforts to make people aware of gnu project. The only "gnu/linux" is "debian gnu/linux" because debian get to choose the name and not someone imposing MIT

      • [It's] great to use open source software... but by refusing to use *any* software that is commercial, you aren't helping anyone. Certainly not developers.
        P.S.: If people didn't think computers could make money, I'd bet nobody would have ever made them.
      • I agree on some points. The problem with Stallman is his principles don't scale beyond UNIX commands, which are atomic in nature. If I want control over how a UNIX command works, I need the source. As software gets larger and more extendable, the less I need the source code to make it do what I want. I can write a Firefox extension, an Apache module, etc. without looking at the source code.

        So as programs become more extendable, the less Stallman's reasoning make sense, the less his goals outweight the need
      • You totally misunderstand Stallman's ideology. This is the exact reason he has tried to distance the Free Software movement from the Open Source movement. The OS philosophy is pragmatic. They say OS is a good business choice and in some cases can be a better way for everone to profit from software.

        The FS people are not pragmatists. This is the first thing you probably don't understand (you seem like a hardcore pragmatist yourself). The movement is about the idea that software (and other forms of abs
      • Richard Stallman encourages seeking payment [gnu.org] for software.

        Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of software, or that you should charge as little as possible -- just enough to cover the cost.

        Actually we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If this seems surprising to you, please read on.

        The word ``free'' has two legitimate general meanings; it can refer either to freedom or to p

    • Quicktime is openly documented and available for anyone to use royalty-free. [wikipedia.org] Vlc [videolan.org] plays this particular quicktime trailer quite nicely.
    • RMS is a nutcase, but an admirable one. He's absurd about certain things. I use Quicktime and RealPlayer all the time, and I am not any less free as a result of it. Yes, I know what he's getting at, but I think he's taking the saying about "all progress depends upon the unreasonable man" a bit too far.
  • Gads (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 27, 2006 @02:41PM (#15214733)

    I think I'll wait until this one comes out on video....I for one don't relish being cooped up in theater, wedged shoulder-to-shoulder, with the hygiene-challenged social misfits who would find a documentary of Richard Stallman interesting.
  • Now all we need is to get the MPAA to sue the "property rights" movie for distributing pirated info or something, and the universe will implode!
  • Hey editors... (Score:4, Informative)

    by SpectreHiro (961765) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @02:45PM (#15214782) Homepage

    I know y'all like to leave the submissions relatively untouched, but...

    Lessing?

    In the freaking headline?

    fer[sic] christ's sake...

    I also realize this is a tech site, and 90% of people here are familiar with the gentlemen in question, but it'd be nice to reference their full names at some point in the blurb.

    Lawrence Lessig [wikipedia.org]
    Richard Stallman [wikipedia.org]
    • Re:Hey editors... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stinerman (812158)
      The overlooked problem is that the article doesn't look like it was submitted by anyone. It looks like Taco just wrote the summary himself. If that is the case, Taco is drunk or just pulled off one hell of a troll.
  • by sentientbrendan (316150) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @02:48PM (#15214810)
    for the *irony*.

    Also, what's with the free Zarathustra thing at the beginning of the trailer? What does Neitzsche have to do with intellectual property rights?
  • GODDAMIT! (Score:1, Funny)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576)
    Can't we PLEASE get an articulate spokesman who doesn't look like the Unabomber "before" pictures?

    And what's that burning smell?

    • I've read a lot of Stallman's writing, and I've listened to him speaking on several occasions. Say what you will about his appearance and persona, but when it comes down to what he's saying, he is actually one of the most articule speakers I've ever witnessed. The man is always clear and consistent in what he says, is proper in his speech, and always operates based on logic--I've never known him to appeal to emotions.
  • Request (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 27, 2006 @02:48PM (#15214816)
    Alternative Freedom is a documentary on intellectual property rights featuring lots of interviews with folks like Stallman and Lessig, as well as people like DJ Danger Mouse

    Please link Danger Mouse [dangermouse.org] correctly.

    Thanks
  • NYT has reviewed it (Score:4, Informative)

    by joshdick (619079) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @02:57PM (#15214884) Homepage
    "If anyone manages to go, I'd love to see some real reviews of it."

    http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v _id=345768 [nytimes.com]

    Putting aside your personal feelings on copyright, that review is enough to make me want to stay away from it. As the review points out, I would be better served by reading Lessig's blog, among others.
    • Thank god NYT has hired a reviewer who actually knows his shit and can tell the difference between a bad film and a bad idea. I'm not in the US, and haven't read this paper before, but I'm pretty impressed. Identifying the ideas from the direction is more than I generally expect of the kind of low level journalistic goon hired to write reviews of tiny political documentaries.
    • Time Out New York has a more favorable short review [timeout.com].

      Alternative Freedom
      Dirs. Twila Raftu and Shaun Cronin. 2006. N/R. 68mins. Documentary.

      An indictment of the "war" on free culture, this collagelike doc examines the current copyright crisis. A handful of surprisingly fascinating talking heads--including free-software pioneer Richard Stallman and Stanford Law School professor Lawrence Lessig--criticize corporations for preventing technology sharing and experimentation. To punctuate their arguments, the

    • New york times review is what you would expect from somebody with cursory interest and even less understanding of the issues discussed.

      The movie has it's drawbacks. Production is very low budget, and theater setup is worse (they show it from vhs). There's not much eye candy as the movie is mostly interviews with some public domain clips mixed in.

      But there are positive sides that easily outweight the negatives. Lessig, RMS, bunnie and others present intersting, inteligent, well thought out discussion of t
  • If your browser does not support embedded files you can dowload the .mov directly here. [Link provided].

    Thank you! I'm so tired of having to hit "view source" just to get an URL for some proprietarily-encoded video.

  • At what point do intellectual property rights cross into freedom of information?
    • Since the inception of the concept. IP rights have always been about restricting access to information. That was its intent since the very beginning. It was originally a tool to silence government and corporate critics. To restrict their access to a printing press, which is a very dangerous machine when it's in the "wrong" hands. Copyright was effectively a license to use a press.
      • Mod the parent up. Very insightful post.

        I would also like to add that copyrights under the Statute of Anne were given out as political favors and worked a lot like trade guilds. The trade guilds have long been abolished because they retarded progress and kept prices artificially high. However, copyrights have remained, even though they infringe on people's rights on top of the negative monopoly effects of any trade cartel.
  • DJ Dangermouse (Score:2, Informative)

    by El Nombre (970691)
    FYI, DJ Dangermouse is one half of Gnarls Barkley (along with Cee-Lo), the band who reached UK's #1 chart spot with a download only single "Crazy". See the slashdot story here: http://slashdot.org/articles/06/04/02/2232226.shtm l [slashdot.org]

    Most people here made fun of their names and assumed they are trash. They're worth checking out however, St. Elsewhere, their debut album, just leaked and should be released soon. Dangermouse is a talented guy.

    And for those who haven't heard the Grey Album, I'd suggest gi
  • Hmm. From the NYC movie info link:

    "Free Culture at NYU presents:
    ALTERNATIVE FREEDOM"


    Yet tix range from $6.50 to $9.00 per. I guess that would be Free-as-in-speech, not Free-as-in-beer, Culture at NYU.

    If anyone local is going, I'll be getting a pint or two at Bleecker Bar (Bleecker & Lafayette) and then walking over, the box office opens at 8:30 for the 9:00 showing tonight.
    • If I give you a digital copy of my movie it costs me almost nothing. If I give you a cushioned seat in a room of NYC real estate for 68 minutes it's going to cost me a lot. Hence the movie's not free as in beer.
      • Free Culture is a national organization, the NYU chapter is presenting the film, and yes of course it costs money to hire out the Pioneer, which the group has to recoup. The point is the irony of the name "Free Culture at NYU," which is due to the double meaning of the word... oh never mind.

        But if you're in the neighborhood, a few pints rarely kills anyone...
  • by iplayfast (166447) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @03:15PM (#15215034)
    I just emailed cineplex to ask them if they would be showing it.
    here [cineplex.com]

    This type of movie only get's shown if there is a demand for it.

  • isn't it cynical to make a movie about free open source software and publish the trailer in the quicktime format?
  • I hope so, 'cause I didn't really care for that one.

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